Journalism remains one of the most volatile careers due to industry mergers, political attacks, and the gutting of resources to maximize profits. In the past month we’ve seen GateHouse Media announce an incorporation with Gannett and CBS combining its assets with Viacom, withering away an already sparse news ownership scene. While an important and exciting job, for some the pressures and layoffs are too numerous and frequent, and enough is enough.
Stories by Nicole Schuman
There’s no arguing about the importance of a steel-toed communication plan for a company merger. External AND internal communications need to be orchestrated in respect to many audiences—investors, employees, consumers, the media and more. It can be somewhat overwhelming for those involved to perform with speed and accuracy, all the while keeping a brave face for those unsure of an acquisition’s future impact.
We live in an era with unparalleled access to information. Anyone can search for a name for a background check on a person’s work, family or interests. Every company should continue to vet investors and senior management on an annual basis, especially during sensitive political times.
Lou Dubois, director of content, arrived at Hilton after building his first brand newsroom at NBCUniversal. With a journalism background, Dubois came to understand the need for a global brand,like Hilton, to wrangle the stories being made at over 5,700 properties into one central chronicle. Hilton is currently comprised of 17 brands in 113 countries, and its 14 separate online media centers could not efficiently deliver to its intended audiences—the media, employees and consumers.
Four years ago, Volkswagen received extensive punishment for lying about noxious levels of their diesel vehicles’ emissions. The company is back in the news as German prosecutors charged Rupert Stadler, former chief executive of Audi, the luxury arm of VW, with fraud for his role in another emissions cheating scandal.
At the heart of PR is storytelling. The ability to describe the goals and purpose of an organization stems from communicating a clear narrative. Building a brand newsroom allows for a living, breathing example of your priorities. While it’s nice to have a large budget, small expenditures can be used to create a respectable brand newsroom.
Have you been enjoying a restful summer, lounging at the pool, a la “The Graduate,” replenishing your energy for the job search after securing a communications degree? Or are you in the trenches, navigating the water cooler and the ‘delights’ of a 7 a.m. commute at your first post-college gig? The great news is that you graduated—an accomplishment, for sure. But what’s next? And where do you start?
The New York Times reported Facebook receiving a record $5 billion fine from the Federal Trade Commission in regards to “deceiving users about their ability to control the privacy of their personal data.” Facebook also received a $100 million penalty from the Securities and Exchange Commission for neglecting to inform investors about the risks of utilizing private data. To top it all off? The FTC ordered Facebook to hold themselves accountable and increase transparency surrounding data practices by creating a privacy committee.
Because reputation lies at the heart of public relations, organizations have come to determine their own definitions of brand safety as digital marketing evolves. Brand safety is no longer solely about ad placements, but has grown to include associations with malevolent sentiment, influencers’ stodgy backgrounds and unfortunate algorithmic decisions.
Whether or not Alexa or Siri are your best girlfriends, public relations practitioners should research and explore the extent to which their organizations use AI and its performance. According to the Marketing Artificial Intelligence Institute: “AI is the umbrella term for the algorithms, technologies and techniques that make machines smarter, and give them superhuman capabilities.” While AI may seem smart enough to set and forget, responsible pr pros should lean in to the learning, advantages and possible disadvantages the tools may provide.